Introducing Cats – Running Out of Options
February – 2018
It has been 5 months since the big move and we are still not able to have our cats in the same room without all hell breaking loose. To recap, Arya, Django and I moved in with my boyfriend and his cat Puddles in September of last year. Arya and Django are F5 Savannah Cats with loads of energy and tons of curiosity. Puddles is an anxious kitty who has warmed up to only a handful of humans in her life, my boyfriend and I included. Puddles is terrified of strangers and will vanish for hours if anyone as much as knocks on the front door. All three cats will be 5 years old within a few months.
Prior to the big move, we facilitated several “meet and greets” between my cats and Puddles. You can read up on all the pre-move drama here. To make a long story short, everything started out well. Arya & Django explored the new digs freely while Puddles kept to herself or hid. Then on one of the visits, Django pushed things a little too far when he attempted to join Puddles in her hiding spot underneath the bed. Puddles felt cornered and went on the offensive. From that point on, Puddles was on a clear mission to get these intruders out of her house. If we were not careful about closing a door all the way, a fight would break loose.
Things We’ve Tried
Over the past 5 months we’ve tried everything to mend the relationship between Puddles and my Savannah cats. Here’s a list of things we’ve tried or are currently doing:
- Feeding on opposite sides of a closed door
- Comfort Zone Feliway Cat Pheromone Plugins
- Scent swapping with toys, blankets, and a cat brush
- Site swapping every night to break down territorial ownership of the house
- Feeding and playtime on opposite sides of a 40” high pet gate
- Medication for Puddles (5mg of Prozac)
The System Doesn’t Always Work
Since the move we’ve come up with a system for keeping the cats separated at all times. But even our system has broken at times and we’ve had to break up countless cat fights. The fights always involve Puddles chasing and attacking either (or both) Arya and Django. And this is not play fighting at all. There is fur flying, growling, and occasionally blood is drawn. All this happens within a matter of seconds before we are able to intervene and break up the fight with a blanket or pillows. Thankfully, none of the fights to date have resulted in severe injuries.
But things are incredibly stressful. Having to constantly worry about closing doors, swapping rooms, and making sure all kitties are given equal amounts of attention is a lot of work. And to make matters worse, Puddles is now regularly peeing outside of the litter box and marking our furniture. For the past 5 months, our home lives have revolved around our cat problems. Being at home is no longer relaxing. We actually need a vacation from our home and the cats!
In Desperate Need of Help!
We’ve done tons of research. We’ve asked our vet and everyone we know for advice. We are running out of new things to try. I know they say this sort of thing can take a very long time. But 5 months seems like an incredibly long time to see virtually no progress. And if you’re wondering why we don’t just give Puddles or my cats away, I’ll just say that “option” is not on the table. We are committed to our cats and we are determined to make this living arrangement work. But at this stage, we need professional help.